What are the best Niccolo Machiavelli quotes?

Accurate and famous quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli about leadership, virtue, first, judging, feared. Niccolo Machiavelli is well-known Italian writer with many wise quotes. You can read the best of all time and enjoy Top 10 lists. Share the best Niccolo Machiavelli sayings with your friends and family.


  1. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.


  2. It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.


  3. If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.


  4. Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.




  5. Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.


  6. It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.


  7. It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.


  8. He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.


  9. Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.


  10. Politics have no relation to morals.


  11. One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.


  12. The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.


  13. Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.

    • change

  14. It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.


  15. Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.

    • leadership

  16. Before all else, be armed.


  17. The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.


  18. When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.


  19. There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.


  20. Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.


  21. Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.


  22. God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.

    • will

  23. Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.


  24. Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.


  25. Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.


  26. A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.


  27. Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.


  28. Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.

    • judging

  29. The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.

    • promises

  30. A wise man will see to it that his acts always seem voluntary and not done by compulsion, however much he may be compelled by necessity.



Top 10 quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli

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Niccolo Machiavelli image quotes

What are the best Niccolo Machiavelli images quotes? Read and bookmark finest sayings from Niccolo Machiavelli, embed as quotes on beautiful images. Those images have leadership quotes, virtue quotes, first quotes, judging quotes, feared quotes.


  1. Picture quote by Niccolo Machiavelli about self

    Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.


  2. Picture quote by Niccolo Machiavelli about freedom

    It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to enslave a people that wants to remain free.


That are top sayings from Niccolo Machiavelli as picture quotes. Access more quotations by Niccolo Machiavelli with images on Pinterest.

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About Niccolo Machiavelli

Where is Niccolo Machiavelli from? Niccolo Machiavelli is Italian who said awesome wise words. Well-known and respected in Italian society for wise sayings. The following quotations and images represent the Italian nature embed in Niccolo Machiavelli's character.

What Niccolo Machiavelli was famous for? Niccolo Machiavelli is famous writer with many good quotes. Influential and well recognized writer all over the world. Browse a lot of Niccolo Machiavelli books and reference books with quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli on Amazon.


What are the best leadership quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli?


    He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

    • leadership

    Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.

    • leadership

    There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.


    There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things..... Whenever his enemies have occasion to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.

    • leadership

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What are the best virtue quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli?


    The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.


    We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.


    A prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the bad reputation of those vices that would lose the state for him, and must protect himself from those that will not lose it for him, if this is possible; but if he cannot, he need not concern himself unduly if he ignores these less serious vices.

    • virtue

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What are the best first quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli?


    The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

    • first

    A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.


    Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.


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What are the best judging quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli?


    Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

    • judging

    Men are more apt to be mistaken in their generalizations than in their particular observations.

    • judging

    Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.

    • judging

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What are the best feared quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli?


    It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.

    • feared

    Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.


    Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.


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More quotes by Niccolo Machiavelli

Want some more good quotations by Niccolo Machiavelli? Explore the rest of 75 sayings by Niccolo Machiavelli.


For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.

  • against

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

  • conduct

Men sooner forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.


One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.




The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.


Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.

  • difficult

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.


The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.

  • virtue

The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.


Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.


We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.

  • achieved

It is not titles that reflect honor on men, but men on their titles.


A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.


From this we learn that a wise prince sees to it that never, in order to attack someone, does he become the ally of a prince more powerful than himself, except when necessity forces him, as I said above. If you win, you are the powerful kings prisoner, and wise princes avoid as much as they can being in other mens power.


A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.


There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new order of things..... Whenever his enemies have occasion to attack the innovator they do so with the passion of partisans, while the others defend him sluggishly so that the innovator and his party alike are vulnerable.

  • leadership

Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.


States that rise quickly, just as all the other things of nature that are born and grow rapidly, cannot have roots and ramifications; the first bad weather kills them.


Many have dreamed up republics and principalities that have never in truth been known to exist; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.


With regard to prudence and stability, I say a people is more prudent, more stable and more just than a prince.

  • politics

To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.

  • nature

Because just as good morals, if they are to be maintained, have need of the laws, so the laws, if they are to be observed, have need of good morals.


Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.


Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.


There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.


A prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the bad reputation of those vices that would lose the state for him, and must protect himself from those that will not lose it for him, if this is possible; but if he cannot, he need not concern himself unduly if he ignores these less serious vices.

  • virtue

War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.


Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are, and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.

  • judging

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

  • destroyed

Never was anything great achieved without danger.


A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.

  • ashamed

The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.

  • war

It should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler ought to determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He should inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day.

  • war

I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

  • political

Men seldom rise from low condition to high rank without employing either force or fraud, unless that rank should be attained either by gift or inheritance.


I hope and hoping feeds my pain I weep and weeping feeds my failing heartI laugh but the laughter does not pass withinI burn but the burning makes no mark outside


Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.

  • against

I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.


Men nearly always follow the tracks made by others and proceed in their affairs by imitation, even though they cannot entirely keep to the tracks of others or emulate the prowess of their models. So a prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it. He should behave like those archers who, if they are skilful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target.


Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.


War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.


There are three kinds of intelligence; one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.


Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.

  • armed

It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.


The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.


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